Built on innovation
Meyer Manufacturing of Dorchester known worldwide for farm, industrial equipment
By Michelle Pernsteiner
Alvin Meyer, who died in 1975 at age 55, seemingly could fix or build anything. As the founder of Meyer Machine Shop in 1944, he repaired farm equipment and built snowplows, farm wagons, grain elevators, truck racks, forklifts and mobile homes. In 1951, Meyer patented a false-gate forage box that was later redesigned into what is believed to be the first self-unloading unit.
By 1962, Meyer had expanded his product line to include bale racks, portable bunk feeders/bale haulers, rocky mineral feeders, wood/coal furnaces, farm wagons, rear unload forage boxes and waste spreaders.
As equipment offerings increased, so did the company’s sales territory, from a regional radius of 30 miles to 100 and beyond.
Larry Meyer, 63, takes pride in the business his father began. Today, Meyer Manufacturing Corp. of Dorchester is recognized worldwide for the production of agricultural and industrial equipment, with sales representatives across the U.S., including Hawaii, and into Canada.
Four generations of flowers
Hefko Floral has been part of the Marshfield community since 1912
By Lori Kaye Lodes
Exceeding customer expectations has been the mission of Hefko Floral Co. ever since T.D. Hefko, a Ukrainian immigrant, founded the business in 1912. Four generations later, providing flowers and plants remains a family tradition.
Hefko came to the United States in 1905 and worked at a foundry in Cohoes, N.Y., until a strike cost him his job. Moving to Rothschild to work on construction of the paper mill, he became ill and was hospitalized in Merrill. There, he befriended a local florist and worked for two years before purchasing a small florist and greenhouse at the corner of Fifth Street and Oak Avenue in Marshfield.
Hefko grew his own flowers, delivering them locally on his bicycle and by train to cities and towns farther north.
Today, Hefko’s granddaughter, Lizz Hefko Koenig, is president and co-owner of the business she and her husband, Chuck, purchased from her parents, Terry and Betty, upon their retirement in 1988. Koenig’s son, Seth, became an officer in the company in the 1990s and joined the business after returning from college in 1997.
People who make a difference
O'So owners brew 'beer for a cure'
By Betty Wall
Talking about Alzheimer's is painful when you've lost a loved one. Marc Buttera and his wife, Katina, decided they wanted to raise awareness of the disease that had claimed Marc’s grandfather. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, reasoning and behavior. It also is the leading cause of dementia.
To do their part, the owners of O’So Brewing Co. in Plover developed a beer called Memory Lane and pledged to give 5 percent of the proceeds from beer sales to the Alzheimer's Association of Wisconsin for research.
Called the "Beer for the Cure," Memory Lane is a German Pilsner that was released in November as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
"My grandfather had passed away from Alzheimer’s about 10 years back,” Buttera said. “I watched what the disease does to a family. My grandfather was one of the most influential people in my life and it was so hard to watch him wither away. So we contacted the Alzheimer’s Association and hoped that we could use my business as a catalyst to do something to help."
From tools to baby chicks, stocking mill changes with the times
By Paul Nicolaus
When a feed mill down the road closed its doors, Russ Aderhold, owner of R.A. Miller Supply in Schofield, saw an opportunity to step in and nourish an unmet craving.
In 2011, he formed Miller Feed Supply and has since become an authorized dealer for Prince Corp., a manufacturer of premium animal feeds in Marshfield. With this added inventory, Aderhold and his staff have been serving a customer base of farmers, hobbyists and pet owners.
The addition builds off the long-time core of the business. R.A. Miller Supply has provided tools and machinery to one-person operations and multi-million dollar corporations alike since 1986.
The 8,800-square-foot warehouse and showroom displays stationary woodworking and metalworking machines, drill presses, band saws, sanders, cutting tools, milling machines and air compressors. The company also provides access to a variety of vendors and, as Aderhold estimates, access to more than 750,000 products.
Although he notes it is one-of-a-kind within the area — the only stocking mill supply distributor in Northcentral Wisconsin — Aderhold has been on the lookout for viable ways to diversify and reinvent his company.
“We’ve recognized that the industrial market has changed,” he said, noting the variety of large factories that have ceased operations and the effect of that shrinking customer base. “We had to start to think about other areas we could still be competitive in.”
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